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Sony blames falling Xperia sales on slow improvements, lack of innovation

Sony has revealed plans to target Europe and utilize its wider technological portfolio to right the ship.

Published onMay 23, 2018

Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
  • Sony hasn’t been improving its smartphones quickly enough, the company has conceded.
  • The Japanese firm pinned the blame on its product design, planning, and development processes.
  • In addition to remedial actions, the company plans to focus its efforts on Europe.

The last few years haven’t been kind to Sony‘s mobile division, watching as Huawei, Samsung, and Xiaomi streak into the distance. Now, the Japanese electronics colossus has touched on its problems on the record, while also outlining a few solutions.

The firm used its investor relations day to elaborate on its biggest obstacle (h/t: Xperia Blog), saying it hasn’t improved its smartphone lineup quickly enough. It specifically cited mid-term product planning and development, and longer development/design lead times as two causes for the slower pace.

A Sony Mobile slide.

This year’s Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact mark a turning point of sorts for the company in the design department. The two devices, revealed at MWC 2018, have 18:9 displays — a year after tall screens first became a trend.

The new Xperia XZ2 Premium maintains the 16:9 screen ratio for its 4K HDR display (at least it’s not a notch, right?). However, it’s also the brand’s first phone with a dual-camera setup on the back. In any event, the XZ2 trio all enjoy a new design language after years of the same old OmniBalance design.

Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra review: It's about time

So what is it going to do about the sliding sales and product improvement pace? The company says it will focus on Europe, calling the initiative (surprise) Project Europe. Sony will essentially cozy up to operators while improving open channel sales (e.g. online/off-contract sales).

The company adds it will also conduct technological partnerships for 5G launches, deliver entertainment content from Sony’s other properties, and increasingly integrate Sony Group infrastructure/expertise.

A Sony Mobile slide.

Speaking of integrating group expertise, Sony says it will also “fully utilize” the group’s technological assets. These departments include cameras, design, lenses, sensors, battery technology, audio, display, and wireless connectivity.

Has the company’s hardware expertise ever been in doubt though? Design and confusing fingerprint scanner situation aside, the firm’s phones have generally had fast internals, new screen technology, and the latest camera sensors.

In any event, the Japanese giant is targeting the fiscal year 2020 window for the solutions to bear fruit.

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